Parents Of Michigan Shooter Have Gone Missing After Charges Filed
By Jason Hall
December 3, 2021
UPDATE: Attorneys representing James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, confirmed the couple are not fleeing amid charges being filed against them on Friday (December 3) and plan to return to Oakland County.
"On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to advise her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned. Instead of communicating with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges," attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman said in a statement obtained by CNN. "The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports," the attorneys added.
CNN reports the Crumbleys must be taken into custody by 4:30 p.m. local time for an arraignment to be held on Friday, otherwise it could be held from Oakland County Jail as the courthouse is closed on Saturday (December 4).
Local authorities confirmed they are searching for James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of accused Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley, hours after they were each announced to face four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter on Friday (December 3).
The parents were scheduled for an arraignment at 4:00 p.m. ET.
On Thursday (December 2), Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald criticized Crumbley's parents' actions as being "far beyond negligence" in relation to the incident and said a charging decision was expected to come by Friday.
“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said via the Associated Press, adding that the weapon used in the shooting “seems to have been just freely available to that individual.”
Four students were killed and seven others injured -- including three hospitalized in stable condition -- after Crumbley used a semi-automatic gun purchased legally by his father during the shooting earlier this week.
Experts told the AP parents are rarely charged in school shootings involving their children, even with incidents in which minors easily obtain weapons at a parent or relative's house prior to the shooting.
Michigan does not have a law requiring gun owners to keep their weapons locked away from children.